ISO 9001 & UKAS Registered, Electron Beam Services in the United Kingdom ISO 9001 & UKAS Registered, Electron Beam Services in the United Kingdom

The Snowdonia Aerospace Centre in Llanbedr could well become one of the first commercial spaceports in the UK, with private sector providers now registering interest in the site in a bid to enable low-cost access to space from the UK by the year 2020.

Plans for enhanced site access are due to be submitted to the Snowdonia National Park Authority by Gwynedd Council. If given the go-ahead, access to the Llanbedr site would be improved, which would help to serve as a catalyst for further investment and development.

Lee Paul, Snowdonia Aerospace Centre chief executive, explained that the last year-and-a-half has been about building a world-class facility and ensuring that the right operating environment is created.

Representatives from the Centre, Welsh government and Aerospace Wales recently attended a UK space age event at the Royal Aeronautical Society. Mr Paul said: “We observed real interest in what’s happening at Llanbedr, leading to a number of very encouraging discussions with end users, international spaceport operators and satellite launch companies as well as regulators, UK government and [the UK Space Agency].”

At the start of February, the government launched a £10 million scheme to help develop the commercial spaceflight market in the UK, with draft legislation to enable UK spaceflight by 2020 published. The UK market is worth an estimated £25 billion over the next 20 years, with Jo Johnson – universities and science minister – saying that spaceflight offers the UK the chance to build on its strengths in research, science and innovation, and it provides the opportunity to expand into new markets.

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The Johan Sverdrup development on the Norwegian continental shelf is one of Norway’s largest oil fields. Now Statoil has announced that it will be moving into Phase 2 after awarding FEED contracts to Aker Solutions, Kvaerner and Siemens.

These partners will now begin working on a plan for development and operation (PDO), which will need to be submitted in the second half of next year.

Oil from this phase of the site is expected to come on-stream in 2022. The first oil from Phase 1 will be delivered late in 2019.

Project director of the Johan Sverdrup development at Statoil Kjetel Digre said that the organisation wants to take a “generational perspective” when it comes to the oil field.

“Working closely with partners and government authorities we now have a plan for Phase 2 that maximises value for society, industry and the licensees,” he asserted.

Phase 2 development will tie in with what’s been done for Phase 1, the company noted, adding one more platform to the four planned as part of the initial development.

Three satellite areas will also be phased in as part of the next stage, allowing oil from these areas to be processed and exported at the field centre. 28 new wells are planned for this next phase.

While Statoil is known for its interests in oil, the company is targeting other forms of energy generation as well. Modern Power Systems recently reported that Statoil has submitted a proposal for the construction of a large offshore wind farm in the US.

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India’s state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has approved investment in five oil and gas projects, which will boost production in the country.

The five projects include the development of the R-Series fields and a revival of the R-12 (Ratna) field, as well as the redevelopment of the Santhal field, and 4th phase development of the NBP field. ONGC is investing 73.27 billion rupees in the various projects.

It expects the R-Series fields to start producing oil in 2018-19, realising production of 14,583 barrels of oil per day (bopd). This particular project will involve drilling 31 wells, installing five new platforms and reviving one other platform.

The company also plans to drill six new wells as part of the 4th phase development of the NBP field, with the scheme expected to deliver peak oil production of 4,890 bopd by 2019-20.

In addition, ONGC will develop the B-147 field and the BSE-11 block, both of which are in the Bassein and Satellite Asset.

Earlier this month, reported that India’s demand for oil climbed in 2016, with oil consumption growth hitting 11 per cent.

Citing figures from the country’s Oil Ministry, it noted that the nation consumed 196.5 million tonnes of oil products last year, compared to the 177.5 million tonnes consumed in 2015.

The rise in oil consumption was attributed to a growing urban population and greater use of vehicles around the country as a result of rising incomes.

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